Name: Samuele Lamon
Hometown: Noale, Italy
Year in School: Graduate Student (Ph.D)
In his own words ...
Where are you from, and why did you choose to study at UGA/CAES?
I am from a small medieval town called Noale, near Venice, in the northeast part of Italy. After I graduated with a B.S. in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Padua in Italy, I decided to join UGA CAES because I wanted to gain international study experience. I chose UGA CAES because this institution has an established international reputation and offers many opportunities to international students that are engaged in agriculture studies. The ongoing collaboration between UGA CAES and the University of Padua enabled me to develop my knowledge and skills from undergraduate study in Italy to graduate study in the United States of America.
What is your major/degree program, and what department?
I currently am a Ph.D. Candidate at the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics, working at the UGA’s Wild Peanut Lab under the supervision of Dr. David Bertioli. My research focuses on investigating genetic instability in peanut crop.
Why did you choose your major?
I have had an interest in biology since high school. During my undergraduate studies in Agricultural Sciences, I found out that the field of biology that I like the most is genetics. The Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics at UGA CAES enables students with a passion for genetics to develop their knowledge and skills in this field with the aim of contributing to satisfying an increasing world food demand.
What is your favorite class you have taken?
My favorite class has been “Research Methods and Design for Crop Science” taught by Dr. Jason Wallace. I gained deep knowledge in plant breeding and agriculture, including R coding for statistical analysis, the experimental design of field trials, and hypothesis testing. This class helped me a great deal with my project’s data statistical analysis.
Who has been your favorite instructor?
Dr. Jason Wallace has been my favorite instructor at UGA so far. I think he uses a teaching style that lets students focus deeply on the subject. At the beginning of the course, he introduces the concept of desirable difficulties to help students improve learning during classes. Examples of desirable difficulties include “intersperse practice”, which means exercising many times during a broad period of time what you have learned in class, and “change of context”, which means changing frequently the locations where you are studying in. These simple tricks really helped me be a better student during my Ph.D.
What has been the best experience you've had so far at CAES?
I believe that my M.S. graduation from the department of Crop & Soil Sciences at UGA CAES has been my best experience at UGA CAES so far. This special occasion gave me a feeling of accomplishment and reward that motivated me to continue my education further as a Ph.D. student at the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics at UGA CAES.
What do you want to do with what you have learned here?
I really like scientific research, particularly genetics, and its practical applications. I feel like I have learned a lot about topics such as applied cultivar development, experimental field designs, markers-assisted selection, linkage mapping, bioinformatics, etc. during my M.S. and Ph.D. studies. In the future, I would like to develop my research ideas further and give my contribution to this fascinating field of science.
How has your experience at UGA changed you?
I think that joining UGA has contributed to my personal growth, both as an individual and as a scientist. UGA is a place of well-rounded professional development where I have had the chance to interact with many brilliant people with different perspectives and life experiences. Furthermore, UGA has offered me the opportunity to work in close collaboration with my peer graduate students. The Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics’ graduate student association allows students to volunteer their time to organize events aimed at enhancing the Institute program. Being part of the graduate student association really helped me improve on my dedication, communication, and teamwork.
Thinking of the word agriculture - what does agriculture mean to you? In what ways does agriculture impact your life and your culture?
In my view, agriculture is the tool that humans have developed to fight hunger. We must improve agriculture and advance agricultural research to guarantee conditions of food safety and security for everyone worldwide.
What do you like to do outside of class — hobbies, interests, secret talents?
I love chess, challenging treks, jogging, and playing soccer with friends during my free time. I am also interested in the exploration of exotic natural environments and weekend break travels.